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Review: Speaking in Tongues (Interrobang Theatre Project)

By Chicagotheaterbeat @chitheaterbeat

Review: Speaking in Tongues (Interrobang Theatre Project)   
  
Speaking in Tongues 

Written by Andrew Bovell
Directed by Jeffry Stanton
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru March 24  |  tickets: $10-$25   |  more info
  
Check for half-price tickets 
  
  
   Read entire review
  


     

     

Intriguing and honest: try not to miss!

     

Review: Speaking in Tongues (Interrobang Theatre Project)

  

Interrobang Theatre Project presents

  

Speaking in Tongues

Review by Anuja Vaidya

Speaking in Tongues takes us into the heart of an intricate web of deceptions, broken relationships and coincidences. It is about being faced with hard choices and learning to live with the decision you make. Skillfully performed, the Interrobang Theatre Project‘s latest offering leaves you pondering the notion of good intentions, and wondering whether having them actually correlates to being a good person.

Review: Speaking in Tongues (Interrobang Theatre Project)
The production opens with two sets of couples contemplating infidelity. One couple goes through with it, and the other doesn’t. The rest of the hour explores what this means for each couple in their respective marriages. Not only do they have to grapple with the supreme act of betrayal, but also with the shift in the power balance in each of their relationships. Post-intermission, we are drawn into the world of a different set of relationships, a far more convoluted world. Here, having the courage to accept love or to end a sham of a marriage seems to be the root of their problems.

Intricately woven together, the stories are heartbreaking and eye opening. The cast share great chemistry with one another. In particular, Neal Starbird does a wonderful job. He gives us honest and raw performances in each of his roles. Starbird seems to disappear into his roles and manages to be endearing, even when he is playing a character clearly in the wrong. However, the rest of the cast, while they deliver commendable performances, seems to be playing essentially the same person even when they switch characters. I did find myself wishing that they had pushed the envelope just a little bit more, bringing out the differences between their characters and the circumstances that surrounded each one. It would make this great production, a spectacular one.

In keeping with the weaving and intricate nature of the plot and dialogues, the director, Jeffry Stanton has the cast weave around each other on stage, giving the production a fluid and reflective feel. It draws attention to the wonderful writing and truly brings out the ironic moments that litter the script. It isn’t distracting in the least, which is a difficult feat to pull off when different storylines are jostling for the audience’s attention. Instead of sequestering each story into its own area on stage, Stanton often brings them together in the same space. It allows the audience to compare the stories, helping to bring out the nuances in the script.  There are many sides to each story, and given the chance to compare them all leaves one with an overwhelming feeling that we all essentially want to do the right thing, though our actions do not always follow those intentions.

With Interrobang, you are in the hands of a talented group of people who tell it like it is. The characters are neither vilified nor put on a pedestal. They are who they are and we are not invited to pass judgments. Rather, looking in at their lives from the outside, we are forced to contemplate how we are or are not like them. This is an intriguing experience and one worth having. And even if you are not in the market for a reflective theater-going experience that makes you to look into your soul, this stellar production is one that you should try not to miss.

  

Rating: ★★★

  

  

Speaking in Tongues continues through March 24th at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map), with performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays 3pm.  Tickets are $10-$25, and are available by phone (773-975-8150) or online through TheaterWit.org (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at InterrobangTheatreProject.org.  (Running time: 2 hours, includes an intermission)

Review: Speaking in Tongues (Interrobang Theatre Project)

Photos by Michael Brosilow 


     

artists

cast

Neal Starbird (Leon, Nick); Jenny Lamb (Jane, Valerie); Joe Flynn (Pete, Neil, John); Meg Elliott (Sonja, Sarah)

behind the scenes

Jeffry Stanton (director); Elana Elyce (producer); Mike Mroch (scenic design); Christopher Kriz (sound design); Noël Huntzinger (costumes); Claire Chrzan (lighting); Shawn Galligan (stage manager); Kristin Davis (asst. stage manager); Tiffany Lawson (choreography); Michael Brosilow (photos)

Review: Speaking in Tongues (Interrobang Theatre Project)

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